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The Divine Service of the Lord Jesus Christ
Fourth Sunday in Lent April 3, 2011
Salutation The Lord be with you! And also with you! Welcome & Announcements Preparation for Worship (silently pray the following collect to prepare for worship) Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
<STAND when the pianist stops playing> 2 Timothy 4.22
I. The Lord Gathers Us for Worship
Invocation & Entrance
We are gathered in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen! Matthew 18.20; 28.19 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? Our help comes from the Lord, The Maker of heaven and earth! Hymn of Procession (on following page)
Note: The congregation says all bold words and sings all printed songs. Psalm 121.1-2
II. The Lord Cleanses Us from Sin
Dearly beloved in Christ, the Scriptures teach us that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1.9 Kyrie Eleison ~ Lord Have Mercy
Psalm 51.1; 123.3; Matthew 17.15; 20.30-31
Confession of Sin Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker! <KNEEL>
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole hearts, and we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. <REMAIN KNEELING>
Absolution ~ Gospel proclamation of forgiveness in Christ
By virtue of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, you are fully and freely forgiven of all your sins. Believe this and know that you are at peace with God! Thanks be to God! 3
III. The Lord Raises Us Up to Heaven and Seats Us With Christ
Sursum Corda ~ Lift Up Your Hearts Lift up your hearts! We lift them up to the Lord! Prayer of Ascent to Heaven Let us give thanks to the Lord our God! It is good and right to do so! It is very good and right that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to you, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, through Jesus Christ the Suffering Servant, who was tempted in every way as we are, yet did not sin; who laid down his life for us in love; and who humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. We thank you that by his grace we are able boldly to triumph over evil by following him in humble obedience in the way of the cross. Therefore, with the angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we magnify your glorious name, evermore praising you and singing: Sanctus ~ Holy
Traditionally called the Preface (to the Sanctus). Ephesians 2.6; Colossians 3.1
To You I lift up my eyes, O You Who are enthroned in the heavens! Hymn of Ascent (on following page)
Prayer of Illumination Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit, that as the Scriptures are read and your Word proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today, through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen. <BE SEATED> Scripture Lesson This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to you, God Most High! Psalm
Zechariah 9.9-12 (text printed on back page)
Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; 42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word. 43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules. 44 I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, 45 and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts. 46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, 47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. 48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. Alleluia ~ Praise the Lord
Gospel Lesson This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise be to you, O Christ!
Matthew 11.20-30 (text printed on back page)
Profession of Faith Christian, in whom do you trust? I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds: God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen! Gloria Patri ~ Glory to the Father
Pre-sermon Prayer May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, Lord Jesus Christ, our Rock, and our Kinsman Redeemer. Psalm 19.14 Amen. <BE SEATED> Sermon Post-sermon Blessing May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. Philippians 4.7 Offertory Hymn (on following page) 7
Pastor Jeremy Sexton
Offertory Response & Prayer What gifts have you brought for your Lord? We give only what the Lord has first given to us. We offer ourselves in Christ through confession, praise, and thanksgiving; we give our prayers and alms for the sake of the world; and we participate in the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen! Father, receive now these gifts offered to you in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, as we return to you a portion of that which you have freely given us. Use these tithes and offerings to support the work of the church, to care for the poor and needy, to promote the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth, and to build up your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen! <STAND> Kingdom Prayer O eternal God, we, your children, give you thanks for our ancestors in the household of faith: for Abraham, the father of the faithful; for patriarchs and matriarchs who followed him in faith; for Moses, who with your guidance led your people to freedom and gave them your law. We bring thanks to you, O God, for the prophets who declared your Word and will; for David, the king who sang your praises; for those who gave their lives to preserve your law; for those disciples of Christ who left all to follow him; for Paul, who richly experienced the grace of the risen Lord and brought his gospel to the nations. We bring thanks to you, O Lord, for the fathers and mothers of your church, who guided her even in her oppressed beginning; for the noble army of martyrs who faced death for their love of you. We bring thanks to you, O Lord, for mothers, fathers, and grandparents who ushered us into the knowledge of you, and who now have been ushered into your kingdom to praise you in heavenly glory; for elder members of our community who mentored us; for dear friends old and young who brought joy into our lives. We bring thanks to you, O Lord. Glory be to God, our Fortress and our Rock. Father, grant us unity with one another in the family of faith, that all your saints together might bring glory to your name in all the earth. Have mercy upon us, Lord. Father, be with your saints who are sick or suffering from the pains of life in this fallen world <silently pray for suffering loved ones> Grant them the comfort of your Spirit and the joyful hope of eternal life. Lord, have mercy. Father, build up your church in true faith until she reaches full maturity in Christ, and enable her to serve you faithfully as a kingdom of priests, united by the bonds of peace and love in the gospel. Christ, have mercy. Father, cause the nations to be drawn to Christ, that he might claim his inheritance and fulfill your covenant with Abraham. Lord, have mercy. Father, deliver the oppressed and persecuted among your saints, and give us all the grace of perseverance unto the end in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Christ, have mercy. Father, enable your saints to serve you in the world, in word and deed, for your glory. Lord, have mercy. Father, join our prayers and praises to those of your saints who have gone on ahead of us and entered into their promised rest. Keep us all faithful to you as we await the final revelation of Christ and the resurrection of the body. Have mercy upon us, Lord. Now, O God, hear the very words Jesus taught us to pray: <RAISE HANDS> Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6.9-13 9
IV. The LORD Feeds Us Holy Food at His Royal Table
2 Corinthians 13.14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Holy things for holy people! The gifts of God for the people of God! Pax Domini ~ The Peace of the Lord The peace of the Lord be with you always. And with your spirit. Eucharistic Prayer ~ Prayer of Thanksgiving We thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for your mighty works, which reveal your wisdom and love. You formed us in your own image, and you gave the whole world into our care, so that, in faithfulness to you, we might rule and serve all your creatures. When our unbelief and disobedience took us far from you, You did not abandon us to the power of death. In your mercy you came to our help, so that in seeking you we might find you. Again and again you called us into covenant with you, and through the prophets you called us to repent and to hope for salvation. We thank you, Father, that you loved the world so much that in the fullness of time, you sent your Son to be our Savior. He lived as one of us, yet with unwavering faith and without sin. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation; to prisoners, freedom; to the sorrowful, joy. To fulfill your purpose, he humbled himself in obedience to death, and rose from the grave to destroy death, and to make the whole creation new. We thank you, Father, for sending the Holy Spirit, who grants us repentance and gives us new life in Christ by faith, that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who died and rose for us. Dying he destroyed our death, rising he restored our life. Lord Jesus, come again in glory! Amen. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast!
Psalm 34.8 1 Corinthians 5.8 John 20.19
Agnus Dei ~ Lamb of God
In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord, we at Christ Church welcome to the Lord’s Table all who are spiritually weak and seek rest; all who mourn and long for comfort; all who struggle and desire victory; all who sin and need the Savior; all who are strangers and want fellowship; all who hunger and thirst for righteousness; all who are poor in spirit and desire the riches of the gospel; all who come to Jesus Christ in living faith and repentance, looking to him as both Liberator and Lord. And, of course, we welcome all baptized children, no matter how young, to the Lord’s Table.
Communion: Bread <Sing stanzas 1-3 on the following page as the bread is passed> Communion: Wine <Sing stanzas 4-5 on the following page as the wine is passed> 11
May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you steadfast in true faith unto life everlasting. Amen! 12
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for his love endures forever! <STAND>
1 Chronicles 16.34; Psalm 106.1; 107.1; 118.1; 118.29; 136.1
V. The LORD Sends Us Back Into the World
Adapted from the post-Communion prayer in Martin Bucer’s reformed Strasbourg Liturgy
Let us continue in prayer together: Almighty and gracious heavenly Father, we give You praise and thanks that through Your holy Gospel and Sacrament, You have again offered and presented to us Your most precious treasure: the true Bread of Heaven and Food of eternal life, Our Lord Jesus Christ. And we heartily ask You to grant that we may receive Him and partake of Him in true faith, now and forever, and be so nourished by His Flesh and Blood that we may be set free from all evil, and increase daily in all goodness, to Your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen! Great Commission
Jesus declares, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and disciple all the nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, by teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Amen! Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered! Let those who hate Him flee before Him! Psalm 68.1 Nunc Dimittis ~ Now Dismiss [Your Servant]
Luke 2.29-32 “Song of Simeon”
Benediction ~ Blessing The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Zechariah 9.9-12 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! behold, your king is coming to you; 10 righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak 11 peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. As for you also, 12 because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double. Matthew 11.20-30 20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and 22 Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day 23 of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until 24 25 this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the 26 27 wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the 28 Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy 29 laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you 30 will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
If you are a visitor of Christ Church, we are grateful that you have joined us in our highest privilege, worshipping the Triune God. We hope you stay and eat with us after the service so that we can get to know you better. If you would like to talk with Pastor Sexton throughout the week, feel free to call him at 770.696.7521 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit our website at ChristChurch-Atl.com.
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